Summer can be a great time for hiking, biking, boating, and camping. For many people, this also means including their best friend on many of their adventures. While it’s easy to remember to include food for fido, here are some other items to consider when heading into the wilderness with your four-legged buddy.
Age and stage of your pet
Dogs are notorious for hiding discomfort. Take into consideration their age, recent injuries, and the expected high temperature for the day. During the hike, be aware of any discomfort (stickers are common in dog paws and ears), and look for dehydration and overheating. A dog that is panting and drooling excessively, vomiting, or lethargic needs to cool down and be seen by a veterinarian.
Trails with adequate shade without sharp rocks are best. Treacherous off-trail climbing over steep, jagged terrain can become dangerous for everyone.
Here are just a few of the many dog-friendly hikes (north of Ketchum) within the SNRA as rated by hikers on the Alltrails App.
Taylor Canyon Loop
Murdock Creek- perfect for the senior pups
A bandage wrap is a smart item to have on hand. Many pups not accustomed to hiking can tear their pads which can be very painful. A large dog can become immobilized, making for a difficult situation. A good bandage just might provide what you need to get you back to your vehicle. Other items to carry: Dog-friendly insect repellent (fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks), and sunscreen.
If camping at a designated campground, be prepared to keep your dog leashed at all times. Try to keep barking/noise to a minimum. Pick up their waste, and consider purchasing a tracking device, – or at the least have up-to-date information on their tags/collar. Despite your best training efforts, a dog will instinctively chase after a four-legged furry creature.
Consider a well-fitted life jacket for your dog. After a long day of play, they can become tired, or even choke on the water no matter how good of a swimmer they are. Have a dog-overboard plan. Be sure they also have shade, water, and regular potty breaks.
With just a little prep everyone can stay safe and have a great time this summer!